CANADA STOCKS-Mixed U.S., Canadian jobs data keeps TSX steady
* TSX 7.34 points, or 0.05 percent, lower at 13,706.06 * Five of the 10 main index sectors decline * Baytex Energy drops after acquisition move * Dorel tumbles after profit warning By John Tilak TORONTO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index was little changed on Friday as investors digested stronger Canadian jobs data and a U.S. labor report that showed nonfarm payrolls missed expectations in January. Weighing on the index, shares of Baytex Energy Corp tumbled a day after the oil producer agreed to buy Australia's Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd for C$2.6 billion ($2.4 billion) including debt. The Canadian economy recorded its biggest employment gain since August in January, topping market estimates, and the unemployment rate fell, according to government figures. The U.S. jobs report painted a mixed picture as employers hired fewer workers than expected in January, but the unemployment rate hit a new five-year low. "The data suggests that this ongoing improvement in the labor markets is measurable but glacial at best," said Stephen Wood, chief market strategist, North America, at Russell Investments. "While the improvement is glacial, it is an improvement. "There's not a radical change in the labor market and there's not a radical change in the inflationary environment that would force the (U.S. Federal Reserve) to do anything abruptly," he added. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was down 7.34 points, or 0.05 percent, at 13,706.06. Five of the 10 main sectors on the resource-heavy index were in the red. Wood said that while commodities belong in properly allocated portfolios, investors should be cognizant of risks involving China's economy, a massive market for natural resources. "There's going to be some challenge in the commodity space as China resets its policy path," he said. Energy shares felt the impact of Baytex's decline on Friday. The stock shed nearly 6 percent to C$39.17, and elsewhere in the group Encana Corp dropped 3 percent to C$20.33. Financials, the index's most heavily weighted sector, were down 0.2 percent, with Royal Bank of Canada slipping 0.4 percent to C$69.69. Gold-mining shares jumped 1.7 percent, lifted by a gain in the bullion price. Barrick Gold Corp rose 1.6 percent to C$20.79, and Goldcorp Inc climbed 1.9 percent to C$28. In corporate news, leisure-products company Dorel Industries Inc said on Thursday that it will report a drop in fourth-quarter earnings. The stock slid 8 percent to C$36.47 and showed the biggest percentage decline on the index.
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